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International pressure forces Ukraine to close ‘war sponsors’ list

Kiev has admitted that the blacklist had a “negative impact” on its fight against Russia

Ukraine has decided to abandon its list of “international sponsors of war” following complaints from foreign countries.

Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention has been hosting a website which lists companies that continue to do business in Russia or “indirectly assist in or contribute to Russia’s war efforts.” The list includes major corporations, such as PepsiCo, P&G, Yves Rocher, Unilever, Metro, Nestle, Auchan and Xiaomi.

The project has been part of Kiev’s multi-pronged strategy to pressure companies to cut ties with Moscow in response to the ongoing armed conflict between the neighbors.

The Ukrainian government announced on Tuesday, however, that those wishing to view the list will be redirected to the more neutrally named State Register of Sanctions curated by Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council. The decision was made after a meeting attended by diplomats from more than 10 countries, including the US, China, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as representatives from the EU.

According to the statement on the government’s website, many of Ukraine’s partners raised concerns about “the lack of legal basis for the existence of the ‘international sponsors of war’ list.” Kiev had to consider “the negative impact of this list on the adoption of important decisions to stop the Russian aggression,” the statement read.

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Chinese embassy on March 20, 2023 in Kiev, Ukraine
China issues ‘war sponsor’ list demand to Ukraine – Reuters

Ukraine’s Justice Ministry ultimately agreed that it was “unacceptable to disseminate such information in the state’s name without resolving the legal issues.”

Austria has previously refused to back the 12th round of EU sanctions against Russia, demanding that Kiev remove the Vienna-based Raiffeisen Bank International from the blacklist. Ukraine eventually conceded, paving a way for Austria to give a green light to the sanctions in December 2023.

Last month, Beijing requested that Kiev remove its companies from the list as well. “China firmly opposes the inclusion of Chinese enterprises in the relevant list and demands that Ukraine immediately correct its mistakes and eliminate negative impacts,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told Reuters.

March 21, 2024 at 08:05AM

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